Citizen Jane: Battle for the City: Feet on the Ground, by David Bax

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2 Responses

  1. Steve B. says:

    Among ourselves, “city planners” call ourselves simply “planners” and the profession “planning.” Of course its easy then to confuse us with wedding and financial planners, so I sometimes say “land planner” since I’m not really in the city. There are a number of concentrations like transportation, community, and environmental which inevitably overlap in our work together ( I work mainly in environmental and parks/open space).

    I have studied Jane Jacobs and Robert Moses before. I first heard of Jacobs in college and Moses when studying for professional certification (AICP). Thanks for posting your review – the film sounds interesting for going in-depth on Jacobs and seeing accompanying imagery. Her famous book was “The Death and Life of Great American Cities” (1961). Most planners today see her as a pioneer in planning theory of whom a lot can be learned from. The best and most implementable plans are those in which the people in the community took part in their making.

  2. FictionIsntReal says:

    “and as the beating heart of America comes to reside less in the quaint small towns of the mid-twentieth century and more and more in its cities, this is a movie for our moment.”
    Actually, the population of the US has gotten less urban and more suburban in recent decades. When cities were regarded as dystopian, they were cheap enough that many could afford to live there. As certain urban areas have gotten more expensive, the population (specifically, those without college degrees, who are the majority) has shifted out of them and into suburbs & exurbs. These are typically part of “metropolitan areas” unlike small towns
    In Jacobs’ own Manhattan, the population actually peaked in the first quarter of the 20th century (it hasn’t been shrinking monotonically since then, but you’d expect it to experience natural growth regardless of movement). As economists like Ed Glaeser have noted when evaluating Jacobs’ writing today, the preservation efforts in neighborhoods like Greenwich Village have prevented construction of additional housing units, thus ensuring a relatively small number of people have access to the kind of urban living she held up as an ideal.

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